Advanced Technology Institute to be named Callaghan Innovation

The name of the new institute set up by the NZ Government to help firms in the high-tech manufacturing and services sectors will be Callaghan Innovation.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said naming the new Advanced Technology Institute after the late Sir Paul Callaghan was recognition of his passion for commercialising scientific research.

“Sir Paul was one of New Zealand’s greatest scientists. He believed that science was not only about great ideas but about getting value from those ideas through innovation and commercialisation. His views reflect the ambition of the ATI and we are grateful to the Callaghan family for allowing us to name the new institute in his honour,” Joyce told a parliamentary reception.

 Callaghan Innovation will have operations in the Auckland, Wellington (including Hutt Valley) and Canterbury regions. Joyce’s advisers confirmed a decision on where the head office for Callaghan Innovation will be sited is still in play.  Earlier this year, indications were that it would be sited at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter as an anchor for that particular Innovation Precinct.

But senior public servants told that if the head office was sited in Wellington, Auckland would still have the “operational sharp end.”

Sue Suckling, fair of the Callaghan Innovation establishment board, indicated a search for the inaugural chief executive is now underway. Sources close to the establishment board indicated the CEO would have to be able to both “work” the Government system at a very high level plus be able to establishment a strong nexus of private sector firms to push collaborative efforts to commercialize research.

Callaghan Innovation will be a one-stop shop for business innovation support whether it be in science, engineering, design or technology. It will be a high-tech HQ for New Zealand businesses,” Joyce says.  “It will better connect firms with innovation and business development expertise within the organisation and across New Zealand’s Crown Research Institutes, universities, polytechnics, and other research organisations.

 “We are right now going through both the detailed design and business case for use of the funding for the organisation. Callaghan Innovation will focus on growing innovation skills in business, providing innovation services to business – including technical services and shared facilities like the Auckland Food Bowl – providing research capability, national measurement and standards work, and managing of business R&D co-funding.

“It will focus on industries with high growth potential such as food and beverage manufacturing, agri-technologies, digital technologies, health technologies, therapeutics, and high-value wood products.

Callaghan Innovation and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise will work together to ensure alignment, that there is ‘no wrong door’ for businesses to access Government support, and to provide an integrated suite of services from innovation to internationalisation.”

The ATI Establishment Board is preparing for a 1 February start and legislation establishing Callaghan Innovation is due to be passed by Parliament in December.

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